By Miriam Vermilya
When the Second Chance Cloning Clinic Opens

I want to be first in line, shivering on the sidewalk
in my thin investment of acceptable genes
like a star-struck groupie waiting for the Doors
to open on a new-born world of strobing lights.
Imagine holding in your arms the one you love

most, double helix doubled, identical alleles
aligned in perfect synchrony, blueprint for
a transcendental life, the whole thing calling
first for some audacious name—Carmen
or Camille—something to live down or up to.

As to advice: wear red shoes and midnight-
blue mascara; dance the tango with dark,
mysterious men; fall in love less often,
or oftener but not so hard; squander your
inheritance and bet your sweet life on luck.

From the book Heartwood